Listening to: Lamb, Back to Mine
A week or so back, the wonderful Landismom pointed out that the day of my Pixie's birthday, March 8, is International Women's Day. Being that Pixie is the most overtly "feminist" of my two girls, I'm eternally grateful Landismom enlightened me and helped me associate a day most appropriate to my daughter's birthday (as opposed to, say, "National Potato Chip Day" or "Kick Your Boss in the Groin Day"). Although my Pixie is only a bit over a week into being 5-years old, I can already tell that her feminist soul is emerging and that she will one day (too soon) shine as a strong woman, a wonderful woman, a woman intent on smashing the Glass Ceiling not because it's there to hold her back but because it needs to be shattered.
My daughters deserve credit for my own awakening as a better human being, a better man. As I wrote a long time ago, making me aware of my capacity for love, shaking my soul to arise and embrace something bigger than myself. More than that, having daughters has made me keenly aware at how shabby societies treat women, how greasy right-wing types are doing their best to oppress my daughter's rights to self-determination based on fear of losing grip on a patriarchal society.
Rant time: I am done treading lightly around some religious beliefs. If your beliefs entail respect for all life, we're good, we have no problems here. However, if you only pay lip service to respecting all life (meaning you're all weepy when it comes to the survival of a blastocyst but have no issue with nuking Arab countries), your sorry double-knit clad carcass needs to steer clear of my atheist fist. Keep your grubby hands off my daughter's rights to their bodies and to their will to become whatever they want to become. Keep your silly superstition (and yes, it is "silly" and "superstition" you ignoramus) away from my family. My tolerance is not measured by my willingness to forbear your own intolerance so you can just holy roll your way back to your turd shack church. End of rant.
Since my girls were born, I've been collecting articles, newspaper and magazine clippings, of exceptional women, women who have defied society's expectations and gone their own way, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, women who have pushed men and social convention aside to forge their own path. If there's anything I want to instill deeply into my daughter's minds, other than a respect for all life (with the notable exception of the ninnies referred to in the rant above), it's that nothing holds them back from becoming whatever they choose, that this is a universe of infinite possibilities, wide-open and only limited by the extent of their imaginations.
A while back, a female friend told me that it was probably due to my daughters that I'd gotten in touch with my feminine-self and she was convinced that I'd done well in coming to terms with that part of me. Not certain if she was being entirely truthful or was just handing me a compliment but I do know that having daughters has made me much more conscientious about how I treat women, especially in relationships. One of my biggest fears is dealing with my first case of heartbreak and considering that, I have to wonder if how I treat someone is how I'd want my daughters treated in a similar situation. It's been a huge wake-up call.
That's only part of it, thankfully; my girls have made me more aware of the awesome beauty and wonder of the fairer sex, opened my eyes and mind to a level of appreciation that had escaped me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge sucker for a pretty face and no less hormonal than I was when I was 16 but that's only a very small part of what draws my focus now. As I said at the start of this, I have my daughters to thank for making me a better man, a man given the gift to see and appreciate women with much more depth and complexity.